The brain only weighs about 3lbs or so - a fraction of overall body weight - but it uses up about 20 per cent of daily calorie intake. A brain-healthy diet is essential for keeping your memory and intellect sharp, improving concentration and boosting your mood.
Here are a few ways of keeping the brain healthy through good nutrition:
Boost concentration with Oily Fish
Therefore by simply ensuring an adequate and steady calorie intake throughout the day is the first step to keeping focused and alert.
These signals are sent from one cell to another by nerve fibers. To ensure the messages flow freely, these fibers have to be insulated by a sheath, which is made by a fatty substance called myelin.
Lift mood with Protein-Rich Foods
One of the key neurotransmitters is dopamine, the 'feel-good' messenger. Rising levels of dopamine give you enthusiasm, drive and pleasure. Falling levels are liked to a sense of emptiness, sadness, irritation and boredom.
Sugary and fatty foods cause a surge of dopamine. However, this surge is then followed by an equally sharp drop, so to keep your mood lifted all day, it is better to eat slow release, protein-rich foods which provide a steady flow of energy.
Another neurotransmitter, called serotonin, helps you to feel serene and content, whilst combating anxiety. A carbohydrate snack will raise serotonin levels quickly, but it will also make you sleepy, so again, it is better to keep the level steady.
Our ability to remember things depends on getting brain cells to make new connections. They do this best when they are highly excited - that is why we tend to remember events which happen when we are feeling emotionally or intellectually stimulated.
This key chemical is made from choline, which is found in eggs, liver and soybeans.
Control Cravings by Limiting Stimulants
The only way to prevent cravings is to avoid the substances that create them. Try to limits your intake of sugar, coffee and highly processed foods, and try other sorts of dopamine-boosting activities such as exercise or socializing.